Switzerland can be discovered by trains, buses, boats and scenic mountain trains. Use the Swiss half fare card to get one month’s of half-price travel, while children under 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult who is a holder of a Swiss Family Card.
Swiss Half Fare Card
- Offers 50% discount to use trains, buses, boats and public transportations in 75 cities.
- Children under 16 travel for free.
This card provides savings up to 50% for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland.
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How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes are available in 1, 2, 3 or 4 country combinations for extensive travel on the national rail networks. Going for an extended trip? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering rail travel in 28 different countries.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service, First or Second, selected and the number of rail travel days.
2. Reserve your seats
Most trains in Switzerland do not require reservations. You can simply board with your rail pass and take any open seat.
3. Activate and travel
Your pass was pre-validated at the time of booking, it is now valid for use for the duration you selected. You're all set and ready to explore.
More than just trains
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
- 50% discount when travelling on board trains.
- 50% discount when using urban public transport in 75 towns.
- Free travel for children under 16, accompanied by a parent, holder of a Swiss Family Card.
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Can I share my rail pass with others (family, friends, or charity)?
A. No. Rail passes are strictly personal and non-transferable. A rail pass is valid only upon presentation of a passport. Therefore the name(s) printed on the rail pass must match the traveller’s identification.
Q. My plans have changed and I won’t be able to use my rail pass. Can I get a refund?
A. You can submit your rail pass for a refund. Please be advised that there is a 15% penalty. Only unused and unvalidated (non-activated) rail passes can be refunded. The pass must be returned to Rail Europe, along with a brief letter mentioning the original reference number of the booking. It’s strongly recommended that you send these documents by some type of traceable mail for proof of delivery.
If you purchased the Rail Protection Plan™ and your rail pass is covered, you’re eligible to receive a credit for its entire value. No fee or penalty will be applied, and you can use this credit towards any future Rail Europe purchase within 2 years. Please read more about the Rail Protection Plan™ and for instructions on how to file a claim.
Please visit our Cancellation and Refunds page for more information.
Q. Where can I find more information about European train stations?
A. We offer valuable information on the most popular train stations in Europe. You can find a link to our Train Station page in the footer on any page on the website.
Q. How do I have my train ticket endorsed to indicate it was not used?
A. If you will not be taking the train and have a train ticket that includes a reservation, contact us by phone or go to the ticket window before the train departure and have your reserved seat released, as a courtesy to other travellers. Request that the cancelled train ticket also be stamped “Not Used".
If a train is canceled by the railroads due to a strike, weather, or other issues, and alternate transportation has not been offered or if you decline the alternate transportation, then a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used” before the original train departure time.
Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
Q. If there’s been a strike, how do I request reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. Only some train tickets are eligible for reimbursement due to strikes. Please send your tickets back to our Rail Europe office at the address included in the Rail Protection Plan™ documentation that accompanied your train tickets or rail pass, and include the traveller’s Request Form.
A European railway official at the station must have stamped the train ticket indicating it was not used due to a rail strike. Requests for refunds of printed e-tickets in relation to a rail strikes must follow the procedure mentioned above. If the e-ticket has not been printed, requests for reimbursement can be e-mailed to email@example.com, prior to the train departure date.
Notice of any refund request in relation to a strike must be given within thirty 30 days of your return from Europe. Rail passes are generally not eligible for a refund in cases of a strike under the Rail Protection Plan™.
Q. I need to cancel my trip to Europe. How do I request reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. Although the Rail Protection Plan™ doesn’t allow you to get reimbursed in case your trip is cancelled, you may be eligible to receive an in-store credit. That in-store credit will be good for two years (from the date the credit is issued) towards your next booking, for the full value of the products covered. You can choose to receive this credit toward a future booking or to request to have your tickets refunded per the after sales policies of the products booked.
If you choose to forego the in-store credit and opt for a refund, the regular exchange and refund rules of your products will apply, and you will be subject to the regular carriers penalties, if applicable, in addition to the Rail Europe booking fee.
Q. What constitutes a group?
A. Ten or more people traveling together constitutes a group.
Q. Can I bring my pet on board?
A. Generally, cats and dogs are allowed on trains, though they may need to be contained in a pet carrier or wear a muzzle or leash. Pets are not allowed on some trains in Great Britain, Spain, Ireland, Norway, and Finland. Currently the only animals that are permitted to travel on Eurostar are guide dogs for the visually impaired.
Some trains require advance reservations for pets. Unfortunately, Rail Europe cannot make reservations for your pet. This will need to be done locally. In general, dogs normally travel at half the fare of a second class ticket, payable directly to the conductor.
Q. If my train tickets have been lost or stolen, how do I request reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. Here’s what you need to do if your train ticket, rail pass, reservation, city pass or tour was lost or stolen and you plan to request receive a reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™.
You must file a police report within 24 hours of the incident.
You may purchase a replacement rail pass, train ticket, reservation, city pass or tour in order to continue with your travel plans.
Upon return home, you must submit the traveller request form to Rail Europe within 30 days, along with a copy of the police report, replacement rail pass, train ticket, reservation, city pass, or tour purchased abroad, and your roundtrip airline tickets from home to Europe. A brief explanation of the situation is also necessary to better evaluate the traveller request form.
If you purchased the Rail Protection Plan™ when you booked your train ticket/rail pass/reservation/city pass/tour, you received full documentation on what to do in the event of loss or theft. Please refer to this information for full details.
Q. How much luggage can I take on an overnight train?
A. There are usually no restrictions on the amount of luggage that may be brought on an overnight train, but there is limited space in the compartment to store the luggage. A small luggage rack and any floor or bed space must be shared among all travellers occupying a sleeping compartment or couchette.